Handy American Government Answer Book: How Washington, Politics and Elections Work

by Gina Misiroglu
Handy American Government

The stakes have never been higher: national security, civil liberties, the economy, the future of the republic.

Yet few outside Washington really understand how our government and political system should work, much less how they operate. On one level, the federal government is a complex, interlocking world veiled in power brokering, bureaucracy, and big money. On another, it’s the biggest, richest, most influential organization in the world, for better or worse. While “drain the swamp” and “throw the bums out” resonates with frustrated voters, keeping the federal government functioning requires bureaucratic continuity as well as political skill.

Understanding how modern America is managed and governed is more vital than ever. Filling the breach and answering basic questions about how our very complex government operates and what it promises, The Handy American Government Answer Book: How Washington, Politics, and Elections Work takes a comprehensive look at the historic development of the government, the functions of each branch of government, and the systems, people, and policies that comprise American democracy. This informative book deciphers the news behind the headlines through well-researched answers to nearly 800 common questions such as: How are shifting demographics related to the electorate? What can Americans do to influence their government? Why has trust in the government declined? What is electoral realignment? Who pays for the campaigns of candidates?

About Gina Misiroglu

Gina Misiroglu Gina Misiroglu—also known by her code name, the Taskmistress—has authored or edited more than three dozen books in the popular culture, biography, American history, folklore, and women’s studies genres. She is the editor of the three-volume reference work American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History (2009—winner of the 2010 RUSA Award for Outstanding Reference Source) and the Encyclopedia of Women and American Popular Culture (2012), which explores women’s contributions to film, television, comics, music, fashion, and graphic art. Misiroglu was the co-editor of the first edition of The Superhero Book and its companion title The Supervillain Book, both of which received numerous accolades from the comics and film communities, including a Top Picks selection from SCOOP. She is a frequent speaker at the San Diego Comic Con, where she moderates panels for the Comics Arts Conference, a gathering of scholars who publish in the American studies and popular culture genres.

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

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